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Morgan Hill Unified School District is Eat Real Certified!

Eat Real is thrilled to celebrate our first certification announcement of 2024: Morgan Hill Unified School District! Nestled in southern Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill Unified School District (MHUSD) prides itself on showcasing its local bounty of sustainable, healthy food and has achieved our green tier of Eat Real Certification. Led by Michael Jochner, Director of Student Nutrition, MHUSD demonstrates the huge impact school nutrition programs can have when empowered to think outside the box and reimagine what school food can look and taste like.

Providing the best possible meals for their students

Inspired by his culinary background, Michael and his team have worked hard to build a robust scratch-cooking program, always in search of the best ingredients and products. They are constantly looking for innovative ways to serve high quality meals to all their students, such as providing staff with culinary training, hiring people with restaurant experience, and getting creative with recipes, equipment, and bold new ideas.

Cauliflower Tikka Masala at a Morgan Hill Unified school.

Innovative plant-based meals, locally sourced and rich in responsible proteins, provide students with colorful, diverse, and culturally relevant meals.

Mediterranean Hummus Wrap with Feta at Morgan Hill Unified

17,500 pounds of local produce offered on colorful salad bars and rotating Chef Salad.

Campus-grown spring mix offers students the freshest produce
Hydroponic farms to grow 450 pounds of spring mix weekly on two of MHUSD’s high school campuses. 

MHUSD is one of the first public school districts in the country to use Freight Farms, helping to reduce carbon emissions and reducing the path from farm to school to essentially zero. The efficiency of the Freight Farms is also key for the cyclical droughts in California, as 8,000 heads of lettuce can grow from using only one shower’s worth of water!

Michael and his 34-member team of dedicated food service staff also understand that supporting student health also means contributing to a livable planet. Under Michael’s leadership, the MHUSD team developed their FarmTech program, utilizing converted hydroponic farms to grow 450 pounds of spring mix weekly on two of MHUSD’s high school campuses. 

Here are some of the major wins for MHUSD in achieving green tier certification:  

Ever wonder where your food comes from? MHUSD students and their families don’t have to! Michael and his team created this map to showcase the 8 local farms where they currently source fruit, vegetables, and animal proteins from. 

MHUSD has been working with local ranchers, farmers, and processors to provide their 8,000 students with quality, regenerative animal proteins. These include regenerative ground beef patties & hot dogs from CreamCo and Richards Ranch, organic milk from Straus Creamery, and chicken and pork products without antibiotics. 

Minimized waste

A lot of hard work has gone into minimizing food waste at MHUSD, which created huge impacts! 

Tap to see how MHUSD’s is minimizing waste

You can follow MHUSD’s journey to making school food more delicious and nutritious for all on their Instagram. Please join us in celebrating Morgan Hill’s incredible achievement and their continued dedication!


Eat Real nourishes the future of American school children by working with school districts through their award-winning K-12 certification program. Food Service leaders are provided both the framework and support they need to make their school menus more delicious, nutritious and planet-sustaining. To achieve Eat Real certification, a district must meet a set of minimum requirements and earn a score of at least 60% to be green tier certified, based on an assessment against the 10 Eat Real Standards (see visual for more details).